If I was only going to pick a few, here are my essentials:
For the time they last, lilies are an inexpensive bulb. They provide that burst of color in July and August. Each year we plant a few more in the fall, but they are a must-have in the summer garden.
Sedum comes in all shapes and sizes. It grows just about anywhere and can be a ground cover or a lovely blooming plant by itself. I especially love Autumn Joy sedum.
I always thought roses were difficult to take care of. Where I live if you water and fertilize them they do just great. My favorite types of roses are "Nearly Wild", " America", "Fourth of July" and " Honey Perfume".
4. Lemon Gem Marigold.
This is an annual you can grow from seed or find in a nursery. This marigold has small yellow flowers and the leaves are lemon scented. Nothing like that smell of lemon when you rub your hands over the leaves. I always keep these close to where we sit in planters to enjoy the fragrance.
It is hardy, It doesn't require a lot of water, It looks beautiful when in bloom, It smells good, It fills in as a great landscape plant. What is not to like?
6. Geranium.These traditional favorite garden plants are on my list because they winter over so well. We keep them going all winter in the greenhouse and have them already blooming when they move back outside. I love big containers full of geraniums.7. Honeysuckle.
We knew we also wanted plants that grew up when we planned our landscape. These plants are hardy, colorful, and fragrant. Three things I like to see in a plant.
Another plant I used to be afraid of. Once I learned not to water it too much and keep it in the shade, we have gotten along fine.
If you want texture and color to fill in areas of your shady garden, coleus is your plant. It can be found it a large number of varieties that are colorful and full of texture.
10. I am a sucker for dahlias. I used to think it was so much trouble to dig up the bulbs each fall, but now I think the result is worth it.